Opening arguments began Tuesday, in the first civilian trial of a Guantanamo Bay detainee. The jury was selected earlier in the day.
At a federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan, lawyers whittled down 67 prospective jurors to the final 12, with six alternatives.
The trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who is accused of bombing two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, has been widely publicized. The attacks killed 224 people. When the judge asked the prospective jurors to raise their hands or stand up if they had read, heard or seen anything related to this case, half of them raised their hands.
Prosecutors decided to continue the trial without their top witness. Last week, a judge ruled the witness' testimony inadmissable, after prosecutors said they had learned about him from Ghailani during interrogations at a secret overseas CIA camp where harsh interrogations occured. Ghailani has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.